Selling ice cubes to Eskimos and other core techniques
By Gretchen Barton
To me, selling always seemed like a magical pursuit. Growing up in a sales family, I would hear stories about salespeople who somehow were able to sell just about anything -- whether it was selling organ meat that no one wanted to eat or selling ice cubes to Eskimos.
If I didn't know what I know now, I would've thought that salespeople were either magicians or hucksters -- or perhaps both. For a long time, hearing about the best salespeople always seemed to be coupled with a story of how a salesperson "got one over" on somebody or tricked somebody into buying something that, if they were in their right mind, would never buy. But now, I know differently. Sales is not, nor ever was, about tricking people into buying what you have to offer. Rather, sales is about connecting with people professionally and finding out how what you have can help with what they need. Here are the three core sales techniques (that don't involve ice cubes or Eskimos), which have helped me in my role as a salesperson.
1. Be fascinated: When it comes to sales, if you're not fascinated with your product or your prospect, you're in trouble. Successful selling relies on your ability to be obsessively curious and captivated with the product you are selling and the person to whom you are selling.
2. Connect the dots: Selling to people relies on your ability to connect the dots. As a salesperson, you must be able to find what is known as the pain point -- the thing that the client truly needs -- and then connect that point to what you have to offer. Whether it's connecting a pain point of being really hungry to offering your client a hamburger, or connecting a pain point of wanting to be stylish and you are offering your client a stylish new car, connecting the dots allows you to find and ultimately fulfill your client's greatest need.
3. Be impeccable: To differentiate yourself and give your client every reason to trust you, it is essential to be impeccable in every way as a salesperson. Being impeccable means selling professionally and with integrity each and every time. It means showing up on time, being honest, dressing with care and having a great attitude every time you engage in the selling process. When you are impeccable in every way, it reflects well on you and on what you are selling, ultimately leading to more sales and more success.